A Self-Inflicted Wound: The U.S. in Lebanon 1982-1984
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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This document describes some of the assumptions underlying the diplomatic-military decision-making over the eighteen-month period in which the U.S. was involved in Lebanon. The Marine Headquarters disaster on October 23, 1983, signalled the end of U.S. involvement in Lebanon. The causes of the disaster had their roots in the unrealistic assumptions made by the U.S. following the Israeli invasion, none of which were realized over the following months. Personalities of policy-makers, over-confidence leading to unrealistic assumptions, disregard of local realities, inconsistencies due to critical turnovers of key U.S. decision makers, frustrations in failure causing the reckless use of force and simple negligence, were all ingredients in the Lebanon fiasco. These threads are herein traced from the original overoptimism following the successful evacuation of P.L.O. forces from Beirut, through the unsuccessful attempts to pressure and cajole a U.S.-brokered peace plan, and finally to the realization that the diplomatic-military efforts on behalf of the Lebanese government could not prop up an otherwise hopeless regime. Keywords Foreign policy Military operations Strategy Tactics.
- Government and Political Science
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics